Knox unflavored gelatine, strengthen your nails

Brittle fingernails that chip, split or break can be a real nuisance. Having the edge of the fingernail tear off, leaving the quick exposed, is painful. But how can you strengthen your nails? One reader reports her remedy.

Unflavored Gelatin to Strengthen Your Nails:

Q. I had weak fingernails that split easily for years. Then I started taking one package of Knox plain gelatin daily. I usually mix it into my oatmeal.

When I faithfully ingest an envelope of gelatin daily, I have extremely strong nails that never chip. If I stop, my nails begin to split again.

Within two or three weeks of resuming the gelatin, my nails are once again almost indestructible. This remedy also works for my husband.

Scientists Have Not Studied Gelatin for Nails Recently:

A. The best study we could find on gelatin was published many decades ago in the AMA Archives of Dermatology (Sept. 1957). The researchers reported that,

“Forty-three of fifty patients with brittle nails who ingested gelatin daily for three months showed improvement in their nail structure.”

There had been a few studies published between 1950 and 1957, and a few studies were published after it, until the early 1970s. After that time, doctors appear to have decided that it was not worth studying. That’s why your own personal study is helpful; while it may not work for everyone else, you have discovered how to strengthen your nails.

Other Remedies for Brittle Nails:

Other readers have found that it can help to avoid nail polish, so that no nail polish remover is needed. This strong solvent can weaken the nails if they are fragile to start with (Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March, 2012). Frequent exposure to water, detergent and cleaning compounds can weaken nails, so protecting the hands with waterproof gloves worn with cotton glove liners makes sense if you are trying to strengthen your nails (Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, July, 2004). Moisturizing with almond or coconut oil may be helpful.

Hormones can also affect nail strength. Pregnant women may develop brittle nails (International Journal of Dermatology, online Apr. 20, 2016). In addition, nails that break or split may be a symptom of inadequate thyroid hormone. If fingernails don’t respond to common-sense care, it would be sensible to ask to have your thyroid function treated.

Gelatin Doesn’t Help Nail Fungus:

People with nail fungus do not benefit from gelatin. For them, our Guide to Hair and Nail Care offers many home remedies, including soaks of Listerine, vinegar, hydrogen peroxide or pau d’arco tea.

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  1. SheWho
    Somerville, MA

    I find Knox gelatine in its box of 4 packets in local grocery stores in the baking needs isle, sometimes next to the “Jello” brand of sugared items. Recently paid $2.19 for one box. Boston area.

  2. pallavi

    Jealous over this. It’s really really nice.Thanks for sharing.

  3. Becky

    I just discovered that nail changes & skin problems can be caused by autoimmune forms of arthritis. If your nails are splitting, pitting and/or crumbling and you have back pain, you might consider seeing a Rheumatoid Specialist. It took ten years for me to get a diagnosis because I would see different doctors for separat symptoms. I never thought that skin eruptions & chronic diarrhea could be caused by arthritis. I never mentioned some of the symptoms to my dermatologist because I never dreamed the symptoms would be connected. Hope this will help one person eliminate years of searching.

  4. Becky

    I found Knox Gelatin in the grocery store in canning supplies. I plan to put in yogurt, oatmeal, smoothies etc.

  5. Katrien G
    Eastern Cape South Africa

    My nails break and are very thin. My hair is falling our in bundles, break and are also very thin. I am on eltroxin 100mg tablets for my under active thyroid. I started using gelatine and it helps a lot, but after tests and months of using Vitamin B12 injections, they found that stressing was the bad thing in coursing the most of the problems, my hair, my nails as well as my skin.

    I started working on the problems that course me stressing and that was the best I ever could do, my hair stop falling out, my nails are beautiful, and I can sleep in peace!! Never ever allow any person or circumstances in your live that made you feel guilty for something they actually are to blame for…each and every person is responsible for his or her own live…look after yours, because nobody else will!!

  6. Betty

    Second the motion for dia. earth. It’s silica. Good for many things. Do your research first. Also gelatin more economical if you buy at health food store. I keep it in a sprinkle bottle and put it on everything. It’s flavorless. Good source of amino acids.

  7. Juli
    Washington State

    Would gelatin help arthritis as well as pectin, or are they completely different things?

  8. Jane

    The best thing I’ve found for healthy and flexible nails that don’t split and the edges don’t shred is to massage oils or fats into my nails. I usually do it while I’m cooking because I use whatever kind of oil I’m cooking with (coconut, olive, ghee, walnut) because it’s right there in front of me.

  9. Klara
    Atlanta, GA

    I am one of those people for whom gelatin didn’t work. My nails are sort of brittle. Also, I could never wear nail polish because it turns my nails yellow. I don’t know why my nails are like this, but it’s something I have to live with. Otherwise, I am very healthy at age 75, so I consider myself fortunate.

    • Gussie
      Denver, CO

      To prevent nails yellowing, coat first w/clear polish, then w/colored polish to prevent color from staining nail.

  10. Corienne

    Years ago you used to be able to buy gelatin capsules in the drugstore for pennies. It always helped my nails, but has been unavailable in this form for many years now. Do wish they’d bring it back. It really worked. There is also a cream for horse hoofs that is available at beauty supply stores that works for a while.

    • Lisa

      I purchased gelatin capsules at Walmart a couple weeks ago. Might want to check again!! I had acrylics for years and when I took them off permanently, the nail underneath was pretty sad. Nail polish helped to cover the roughness and strengthen them a bit. But now that I’ve been taking the gelatin for a few weeks, my nails do feel stronger.

  11. Betty

    I am 83. I’ve always had moderate to soft nails, and I’ve never had long nails. Recently I was prescribed a calcium blocker.. and things started changing. First I was warmer at night, I had to stop using an electric blanket, then stop using a comforter, and then I had to start halving my calcium blocker pills. That worked. But also my finger nails began to grow so long and strong. I finally had to cut my nails, first time in my life. (I don’t like long nails, you can’t pick up little things, and you have a hard time pulling up elastic stockings!)

  12. Jim R.

    My teenage daughter swam competitively for several years and had constant problems with broken nails – until she took gelatin capsules. The gelatin really made a difference and pretty much cured the problem.

  13. Gerry

    Just a note to say I have horrible nails; haven’t tried gelatin in many years but will give it a shot again.

    The only time I’ve had luck growing nails was a few months in 2013 when I was taking HcG to lose weight, that worked also. (Unfortunately the real kind isn’t available anymore). It’s of course a hormone and as you said above, hormones do help nails. I’m old now and past menopause many years. The only thing I can remember is being pregnant never helped my nails either, so don’t really understand why the HcG helped!

  14. Mary

    Many years ago, I use to drink Knox Gelatin. It does work. It sure made my nails strong. Do I still drink Knox. NO. Maybe, I should.

  15. Pat

    My grandma always took Knox gelatin and her fingernails were long and strong!

    • Debbie
      winter haven florida

      I can’t even find the drinkable Knox any more.

      • Robin

        Look where they have canning supplies, Walmart, Meijer’s, Target, Health Food Stores, Online, etc.

    • Katie

      Mine, too. Her hair was nice and thick, and even at age 95, was not completely gray. I always wondered if it was the gelatin.

  16. Gerri

    how much pectin and grape juice do you recommend for Plantar fascitis?


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